Teaching with health constraints

Studies conducted worldwide have shown that teachers are among the most stressed workers. Managing students in a class, worrying about lesson plans and performance of students, being a role model, etc., is a lot to take in.

It is even more so for the teachers that are suffering from a major illness, such as renal or kidney failure. They say the nature of their work and state of their health is “too nerve-racking” and increases the deterioration of their health.

According to a teacher suffering from kidney failure, Yardo, being a teacher gives him full contentment, but teaching with the illness is unfortunate as the amount of workload leads to mental and physical stress.

He said his routine during the school day is to monitor children and engage them in all sorts of activities and conversation for hours on end and making himself available for the students at any time of the school day is exerting a huge pressure on his health.

Another teacher who is a kidney recipient said that unlike the healthy teachers, he cannot put in the effort to deliver quality teaching due to the state of his health. He added that he is happy and contented with the profession, but with such illness, teaching has become a torment and classroom life has become very stressful.

He shared that teaching six periods in a day with 55 minutes in each period is extremely difficult and causing a constant worry for him, which is eventually worsening his health. He added that the human consequences of this excessive stress on teachers are serious and wide-ranging.

“Such pressure has knock-on effects which could even claim lives,” he said of his huge workload and pressure.

He pleaded, on behalf of teachers suffering from such serious diseases, to the Home Minister, Damchoe Dorji, for a health concession to be made to the ailing teachers in the country.

In response, the Home Minister said that he has discussed the matter, acknowledging the difficulties encountered by the teachers who are suffering from various illnesses, with the Education Minister.

Lyonpo said that in such cases, the government should be considerate and those teachers or any other civil servants who have serious health issues should be taken care and should be given special considerations. “They will definitely get concession from the government as it is genuine,” Lyonpo said.

As of now, four teachers with kidney problems have registered with the Bhutan Kidney Foundation and the foundation is in the process of registering and segregating those registered patients under different professional background.

Meanwhile, this paper could not get comments from the Education Minister, Mingbo Dukpa, as he was out-of-station.

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